The map is signed and dated in the lower left and was apparently created by a student as a geography and drafting exercise. It is is a rare example of an early Midwest state student map. The map is in an antique ebonized oak frame (probably original), with the label verso of Woodruff Bros. Frame Makers, 517 Jefferson St., Toledo, Ohio. The paper bears the watermark of London Abraded, a crown surrounded by a double circle.
Geography was an important subject in 19th century American classrooms. Creating a map was a common project for American students, generally of the United States, or a local state or county. Such maps were often executed in pen and ink or pencil, and highlighted with wash. This kind of project also was used to teach skills in art, drafting, penmanship, and calligraphy. Similarly, embroidered maps were also frequent school projects — generally for girls — as both geography and sewing exercises. The original source of the map presumably was a student’s school geography atlas. These were widely published and distributed to school children in the 19th century in inexpensive quarto editions.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear. Slightly greater oxidation at edges where paper contacts frame. Frame very good with the usual wear and shrinkage.